Print this page Share

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter

ISBN: 978-1-118-64629-8
240 pages
April 2014, Jossey-Bass
Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter (1118646290) cover image


Good leaders become great by skillfully managing their own vulnerabilities

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter is a comprehensive guide to recognizing and acting on the weak points that can impair effectiveness, diminish results, and harm a career. Written by a 30-year veteran of the leadership consulting industry and author of Trust in the Balance, the book contains examples, worksheets and surveys that illustrate the practical application of the advice presented. An online questionnaire helps readers discover their own leadership vulnerabilities, and the book provides a roadmap for creating a targeted plan to increase their awareness in the areas that truly matter.

The blindspot risk is that leaders fail to respond to weaknesses or threats due to a variety of factors including the complexity of their organizations, over-confidence in their own capabilities, and being surrounded by deferential subordinates. Leadership Blindspots provides a useful model for understanding how blindspots operate and why they persist, but at the same time suggests real, actionable steps to improvement. The book details a range of techniques that make blindspots stand out in sharp relief, so action can be taken before severe damage occurs – to a leader or his or her company. Topics include:

  • A framework to understand the threats posed by blindspots
  • The four most important types of blindspots – self, team, company and markets
  • Detailed case studies of blindspots in leaders across a variety of industries
  • A summary of the most common leadership blindspots
  • Corrective practices that help mitigate the risks that blindspots pose

The one characteristic great leaders share is the constant desire for self-improvement. Good can always be better. These weaknesses and threats are called blindspots because they are invisible to the individual but have the potential to wreak havoc on one's reputation and long-term success. Identifying and fixing crucial problems is the leader's job, and sometimes the most debilitating problems are with the leaders themselves. Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter is the first step toward owning and addressing one's vulnerabilities and, as a result, becoming a more effective leader.

See More

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Section 1: Why Blindspots Matter

Chapter 1: The Dangers and Rewards of Being Blind 3

Chapter 2: How to Spot Blindspots in Yourself and Others 17

Chapter 3: The Common Blindspots Holding Leaders Back 35

Chapter 4: Why Blindspots Are an Ever-Present Challenge 55

Section 2: How to Surface and Overcome Blindspots

Chapter 5: See It for Yourself: Customers, Colleagues, and Outsiders 71

Chapter 6: Seek Out That Which Disconfirms What You Believe 91

Chapter 7: Develop Peripheral Vision and See What Others Miss 117

Chapter 8: Build a Network of Trusted Advisors in Critical Areas 131

Chapter 9: Promote Productive Team Fights on the Vital Few Priorities 145

Conclusion 163

Section 3: Additional Resources

Resource A: Blindspot Q&A 173

Resource B: Leadership Blindspot Survey: Self-Assessment 177

Resource C: Common Leadership Blindspots: Feedback Worksheet 183

Resource D: Readings on Leadership Blindspots 187

Notes 189

Acknowledgments 205

About the Author 207

Index 209

See More

Author Information

ROBERT BRUCE SHAW is a management consultant specializing in organization and leadership performance. He has worked closely with leaders and their teams in a wide range of industries and is the author of several books, including Trust in the Balance: Building Successful Organizations on Results, Integrity, and Concern.

See More
Back to Top